Dear Supporters of PiFO,
Throughout my travels to prisons across the country I have encountered stories of rehabilitation, redemption and restoration. Most of them have involved inmates. But this story is about a corrections’ staff person that I met in another state. Fortunately, it represents only a small percentage of attitudes among some staff. But the good news is that faith-based colleges in prisons, like Corban, are making a positive impact on staff.
I always try to take the “temperature” of some of the staff I meet in prisons. On this particular prison visit, I was talking with a corrections officer who had been in the business for over 20 years. He had seen it all; assaults on staff, assaults on inmates, murder in prison, rape, intimidation and gang riots. He was wizened.
During our conversation, I referred to him as a “guard.” He stopped me in mid-sentence, looked intently at me and said, “Don’t call me a guard!” He went on to explain that “guards” are people who protect gold or silver or something precious, valuable, or dear. He said these inmates ARE NOT precious, or valuable, or dear. They are **** I was shaken by that attitude.
In other prisons around the country I also have witnessed that the students have had a positive impact on staff. There is a lessening of tension. Studies (eg,. Baylor University publication on the impact of seminaries in prison, The Angola Prison Seminary) have shown that the assault on staff, assault on inmate, gang riots and intimidation have been drastically reduced by the presence of colleges in prisons that promote moral and spiritual rehabilitation. Just like our Corban extension in OSCI is doing and will continue to do! The morale of staff will be positively impacted.
Our fundraiser on September 26 will be a virtual event. We are excited about the opportunities that will be generated!
Please continue to pray for our students, the OSCI and Corban staff, and the families of our students.
Our budget for this fiscal year is $300,000. Please consider how God will use you during this time that is extremely challenging for all nonprofits.
Grateful as always,